Science made easy! A review of JJ's Science Adventure comic book (includes giveaway!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I have seen all types of learners in my 14 years of teaching Chemistry and Biology in school. Those who are motivated and love Science will naturally excel in the subject, and proceed on to do something related as their profession (like me!). 

But for many, they come to me and lament, saying that Science is difficult to comprehend as a lot of the concepts are abstract, and the exams are difficult. To them, since they are certain that they will not be in a job which requires Science, why is there a need to study this subject?

To these students, I usually try and help them see the applications of Science in daily life activities. Even a simple cooking process, or when you sit at the salon to colour your hair, these are all Science processes in the working!

The key to doing better in Science is firstly, appreciate the wonders of Science and be able to see them all around us. Can you imagine how it feels to go through a subject which you have no interest in? I know I felt terrible whenever I had to do Physics as a student (sorry, my Physics colleagues!). So, help your child embrace the wonders of Science from young - because by the time they start to lose interest, it will be more difficult to reignite the love of learning Science. 

But of course, I agree with you that even for our kids who do not dislike Science, they may still find it difficult to do well in Science exams as the marking of Science answers 'tends to be stricter' to many parents. I will not go into this topic as that is not my focus for this blog post. 

Reading Science related books is one way to excite and enthuse a child in this subject, which explains why there are so many educational Science magazines and books out in the market. And when in the form of comics, these attract and motivate children (especially boys) to read, and make learning of Science easier than to read guidebooks in bulleted form.

Engrossed in his Science comic

And I found one - JJ's Science Adventure - that I really like. If only I had such books when I was younger! 

JJ's Science Adventure is a series of educational comic books designed to help its young readers master learning objectives stated in the Ministry of Education's (MOE) Primary School Science syllabus. *Do not confuse this book with the ones that Popular bookstores are selling. 

I read the second book of the series - Heat and Light. I like it enough to read it twice. Ch and L read this book in one sitting. Both enjoyed the story plot as it is about two siblings - Joyce and Jonathon - who journeyed on an adventure into sub-dimensional worlds to solve challenging puzzle traps laid by their grandfather. Professor Tan, the grandfather, used his invention, the "World Maker", to help his grandchildren learn Science in a fun way. Wow! Anyone wishes for such a grandfather? 

But of course, in any story, there must be the bad guy to spoil the fun. Mr Sinister and his minions (not the Pixar ones!) are out to sabotage. 

Aurelia Tan is the brain behind this comic book. She was an educator with more than a decade of teaching experience in primary schools, and her experiences with students who had difficulties in Science propelled her to develop this series of Science comics. As mentioned, the book is aligned to MOE's Primary Science syllabus (download syllabus here, and click on 2008 Science (Primary) syllabus in the pdf, if you want to know exactly what is taught and tested for your child). You can practically learn the two whole chapters of Heat and Light (taught at Primary 3&4 levels in Singapore schools) within half an hour! 

There is so much goodness in this book, and as a parent and a Science educator, this is definitely a gem to keep and to gift. I'll highlight five reasons why I like this book (I started with 3 reasons, but I just couldn't stop).

:: See then learnScience concepts are introduced through JJ, the main characters, who experience the Science phenomenon in their world, followed by a mini lesson of the concepts

Here, Jonathan wants to climb up the ladder but his hand was 'burnt' 'cos of the heat.
On the following page, the concept that metals are good conductors of heat is highlighted.

This makes it easier for the children to appreciate how the phenomenon "looks like" in real life, and that helps them understand the relevant Science concept more easily. The graphics also help them recall the concept faster. 

:: Challenge the child to think - There are other Science concepts (not the focus in primary school Science syllabus) subtly brought out through the story. The child may wonder and question why those phenomena are observed. This is an opportunity for parents to engage in a discussion with the child, or the child can do some independent learning through online resources.

Here, Mrs Molly finds the light from her surrounding too bright for her eyes.
You can ask questions like "Why does Mrs Molly find the light too bright but the children are not affected?".

:: See the "invisible" - The graphics allow the child to understand the concept of particles/molecules in water. This is one concept which many secondary school children still have difficulties understanding. 

Here, something invisible like water vapour is better comprehended when the molecules are shown.
This helps children understand the concept that all matter is made up of particles.

:: Do and learn - Learning Science is not about doing worksheets. There will be a learning gap without hands-on activities like experiments and field trips. Just like if you are trying to learn a new software, reading the instruction manual probably doesn't help as much as if you were to get down on a computer and start fiddling around the software. Learning Science works the same way. The hands-on activities provide a concrete example of what the brain tries to interpret. 

Here, a small paper kit is included to help the child explore the scene where the characters had to cast
their shadows onto the carvings of the door to open it. The child learns how shadows are formed, and the
factors that affect the size of the shadows formed.

:: Up-to-date applications - Aurelia really knows the children well. Applications are often neglected in the learning of Science but in this book, she challenges her readers with applications of the scientific concepts in laser and bioluminescence. 

          Special Giveaway!          

Harvest Edutainment is giving away one JJ's Science Adventure - Heat and Light comic book (worth $18.90) to one Simply Lambchops reader! 

In order to qualify for the giveaway, please complete the following steps:
1. 'Like' Harvest Edutainment Facebook page
2. 'Like' this post on Facebook.

Important: You have to complete both steps 1 and 2 in order to be eligible for the draw.

Bonus step:
3. Tag a friend in this post on Facebook (in the comments section).

Terms and Conditions

This is a local giveaway. Claiming of the JJ Science Adventure book will be through the sponsor, Harvest Edutainment Pte Ltd. The winner will be contacted through Facebook Messenger and/or email and has 48 hours to respond, failing which a new winner will be drawn. All incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries will be verified before the winners are announced. To be fair to our sponsors, please note that all fake Facebook accounts (e.g. accounts set up purely to take part in contests with no or very few real friends) will also be ineligible to win.
This giveaway will end on Tuesday 17 February, 2359 hrs HAS ENDED and the winner will be selected through a random draw. Results of the draw will be announced here.

Congrats to Ms Pei Pei for winning the giveaway! 
Please check your email for details soon! 
Thanks everyone, for participating!

**Hop over for another great giveaway by Monsters Under The Bed!

Disclaimer: We were given a copy of the JJ Science Adventure - Heat and Light comic book by Harvest Edutainment for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was given and all opinions are ours.

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  1. Such a glowing (pun intended) review from an experienced educator like yourself is high praise indeed!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for your wonderful article on how to make science education exciting for children but i would like you too visit It has n number of science comics which can help children in a big way. In these Magazine for kids covers topics and areas like science experiments, quiz, anecdotes, plants, animals, physics, chemistry, earth, space and technology. For more details visit :

    1. Hi Rahul,
      Thank you for visiting my blog. Yes, my kids love the Young Scientists magazines too.


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